Japan is set to be the next country that bans entry of foreigners.
Expanding Entry Bans
A spokesman of the Japanese government stated that they will not be declaring a state of emergency yet for April. They released the statement in hopes of quelling fears for the first-ever lockdown in Tokyo.
The top spokesperson of the government spoke about this. He said that there is no truth to the claim that Japan will be declaring a state of emergency on the 1st of April.
He also assured people that the call from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the WHO has nothing to do with a potential state of emergency.
Instead, they will be expanding their entry bans for foreign nationals. These bans will strengthen their defense against imported cases of Coronavirus. These bans include non-Japanese citizens coming from the United States, China, South Korea, and the majority of Europe in the last two weeks.
They are also looking to extend these bans to most countries from Southeast Asia and Africa.
Despite newspapers reporting these bans, the foreign minister has indicated that the government has yet to discuss them.
If ever Japan enacts these bans, they join China. The Chinese government just recently banned foreigners from entering the country.
Japan is also taking steps to address their economic burdens. First, they plan to issue more government bonds. They will be adding USD $149 billion to fund a big stimulus package.
The unquenchable spread of the pandemic has prompted many countries to strengthen their lockdown measures. Thus, people are expecting Japan to do the same.
The pandemic has also affected Japan’s stock markets. Early last week, Japanese stocks saw a downturn.
The Liberal Democratic Party has called for a massive stimulus package to address these concerns. The package is said to be worth 60 trillion yen or USD $556 billion. This includes government spending amounting to 20 trillion yen.
The stimulus package is set to be drawn up next week.
A lockdown in Japan will be different to lockdowns seen all over the world. In the United States and Europe, the government can tell people to stay in. In Japan though, the government can only request for people to stay at home. These requests are not legally binding.
The lockdowns from around the world have already affected Japan for the worst. Supply chains have been disrupted, consumption has been lessened, and even the Olympics have been suspended. Apart from that, events have been cancelled and the majority of shops have shut down.
Analysts state though that if a lockdown were to hit Japan, it would cause massive damage to an already struggling Japanese economy. The analysts state that their economy is already at the cusp of a recession.
An economist at the Dai-ichi Life Research Institute explains the potential effect. He says that a lockdown could decrease Japan’s economy by 1%. This may not seem much. However, this 1% comes to 5.1 trillion yen or USD $47 billion.
As the pandemic continues to spread, so do the chances of Tokyo going into a lockdown. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has been holding press conferences to urge the public to stay indoors.
This past weekend, Japan had a record tally of 68 new cases.